Gale Sayers, the legendary Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back, has died at the age of 77 after a long battle with dementia.
Known as the "Kansas Comet," Sayers was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 despite playing just seven seasons, all with the Bears. At 34, he was the youngest player ever inducted.
The National Football League and commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement about the passing of one of the most prolific running backs in NFL history.
The NFL family lost a true friend today with the passing of Gale Sayers. Gale was one of the finest men in NFL history and one of the game's most exciting players. Gale was an electrifying and elusive runner who thrilled fans every time he touched the ball. He earned his place as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We will also forever remember Gale for his inspiration and kindness. Gale's quiet unassuming demeanor belied his determination, competitiveness, and compassion. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Ardie, and their family. Our thoughts are with his teammates, the Bears organization, the many fans who remember him as a football player, and the many more people who were touched by Gale's spirit and generosity.
His career numbers of 4,956 yards and 39 touchdowns on the ground came primarily over five seasons, as he played sparingly in 1970 and '71.
Players, coaches, fans, and NFL personnel took to social media to celebrate the life of Sayers.
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